John Ward: Bristol Rovers must be playing league football in new stadium
Bristol Rovers boss John Ward says the increasing prospect of a new stadium adds further incentive to the club's battle for Football League survival.
The club last night moved a step closer to achieving ambitions to develop a new £40 million facility at Stoke Gifford after councillors approved plans for Sainsbury's to build a new superstore on the current Memorial Stadium site.
Ward reacted to those developments at his press briefing this morning by reiterating his continuing desire to make sure that Rovers, who are currently embroiled in a relegation battle at the foot of League Two, are still a Football League club when the plans eventually come to fruition.
He said: "I'm delighted for the chairman and the rest of the board because they've all worked incredibly hard to make it happen.
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"It is very exciting for the club in the long-term, but is slightly tempered by the position we currently find ourselves in at the bottom of the Football League.
"There will be a lot of very happy Bristol Rovers fans this morning, but they will all be a lot happier if we are playing league football when the plans come to fruition.
"That's the cause I have taken on and getting things right on the pitch is my main focus at the moment. I'm sure the fans will forgive me if I don't get too excited because, like me, I'm sure they want a league club to support.
"It is a nice thing to look forward to in the future, but, for me, right now, it is all about making sure that when we get a new stadium, we are playing what I call proper football there."